Decision time in three weeks. I had an oblation in November but have had several admissions to A & E with AF . The Consultant has given me three options, repeat oblation with a 5O o/o chance of improvement, stay on medication Soltalol , or have a Oblatiion and Pace Maker which could mean I no longer have to take medication. The thought of the last option terrifies me. He says I have to make the decision so not much

help there. Would appreciate any comment from anyone who has been in the same posit ion.

14 Replies

  • Hi,

    I was in the same position about a year ago had three ablations but not really much success so in November last year I had a pacemaker fitted and then just over a week ago had by final ablation so now reliant on my pacemaker.

    I know its been just over a week but not really aware of AF and haven't had any horrible symptoms like fainting or breathlessness! Find it much easier to walk my daughter to school now and can feel my energy levels have picked up.

    I gave up my job in the NHS last year because I was so sick of my symptoms and spent more time off work because of them.

    I am now ready to crack on and take up employment again.

    The only down side was the pain after pacemaker surgery which is not nice but am hardly aware of the device now so a small price to pay.

    I have come off all drugs apart from metoprolol which is slowly being reduced and rivoroxiban that I need to stay on, have also been started on ramipril for BP which is making me cough loads so think that will be changed.

    Go for it if you want those A and E visits to stop.

    Good luck to you and will be interested to know what decision you make as its not for ever one.


  • Thank you for your quick reply I will post again when I have made up my mind. Pleased to hear you are doing well

  • Wendi beat me to it.

    I may well be in your position eventually. This is my take on your options :-

    I) you have a 50% chance of ablation success. You will regret it if you do not try. I do not have that option.

    2) Soltolol is no longer recommended. A/F always gets worse. More drugs? Not a good long term option.

    3) Pace and ablate. Very scary but having said that I know people with pacemakers who are doing very well. It's the ablation of the node that is the worrying bit as being 100% dependent on a pacemaker is scary. Having discovered that I have this node I have become very fond of it.

    In my judgement this is the last option when all else is discounted. It depends on your quality of life and how hard it is to cope with your symptoms.

    Very best wishes and good luck.

  • Thanks for your reply. Quality of life is not good as symptoms are pretty debilitating . However the thought of being dependant on a Pace Maker worries me. Still got a few weeks to consider and one more trip to A@E will make it easier to make the decision.

  • Much later --------- we may be wise to delay the pacemaker option for as long as possible because of recent advances in new technology. Some time ago the Daily Mail ran an article about a woman in London who had had the latest type of pacemaker fitted. It was like an AAA battery inserted via the groin and it had a long life.

  • I have read that there are a few companies competing to create a new generation of pacemaker. The idea being leadless some still with battery that sits in the heart ('world's smallest pacemaker fitted in UK about a year ago) and some using bluetooth. Trials are underway and these might be available in the new couple of years. It's what I'm holding out for. Hope the link works.



  • Yes, it works. Many thanks, Jo.

  • Hi, I was given that option scared just like you so went for ablation.

    Juries out whether that has worked, waiting a second attempt, but I

    do now think that its is a good option, Everyone seems much better

    afterwards, so its just a matter of getting your head around to it and

    thats not easy. Good Luck.

  • Thank you it's looking like ablation might be my best option if it doesn't work Pace maker is still an option. Sorry to sound so pessimistic but 2 Cardioversions 1 failed oblation has affected my confidence.

  • my mum had a pacemaker for over 15 years ( 2 in total as they only last so long) and it made a big difference to her she said.she was able to go swimming again after she had it in.

  • Thank you for your post I wondered if you mum had the Pace maker and ablation for AF because this is a slightly different than a Pace Maker for other Cardiac problems.

  • no mums main prob was AF,she ended up with persistent Af she did have better time after the pacemakers took over,before that she had to give up work, did very little etc.After she had a new lease of life went back swimming,dogwalking ,holidays etc.not saying pacemaker is a miracle,and of course its a big thing to have,but just wanted to share how she found life afterwards.towards the end of her life,heart failure sadly claimed her at 77 yrs. hope it helps and good luck

  • I would not think twice about the second ablation. I had to have 2 and really no choice before the second one as AF was persistent and was suffering from SVT as well. I now take 1.25mg Bisoprolol each day and get irregular minor symptoms.

  • Has your EP not suggested a surgical ablation or MAZE procedure before pace and ablate ?

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